Ryan Wehrli’s Duramax Powered 1970 C10

Ryan Wehrli had always had an eye for 1967-72 C10 Chevrolets. He had been driving a 2006 Dodge Ram powered by a Cummins but was ready for a new project. As the fabrication shop manager for Wehrli Custom Fab in Dekalb, Illinois, he had the knowledge and materials necessary to make his dream a reality and began his hunt for a C10 truck and a Duramax drivetrain and chassis.

Around this same time, one of WCFab’s customers happened to be selling his 2006 Chevy Silverado. It was two-wheel drive with a regular cab long bed. He quickly purchased it for the drivetrain and chassis of the project, while selling the body parts. Four months later, he purchased a 1970 C10 from North Carolina for the body.

Ryan started by stripping the Silverado all the way down to the bare frame, cutting everything off except for the motor mounts and two cross members. He fit the bed and the cab to the chassis and then welded on new mounts including provisions to install the Duramax core support to hold the radiator and intercooler. He welded all the holes in the frame closed and then sent it off to KB Customs of Sugar Grove, Illinois for black paint with a semi-gloss clear.

He decided to go with a straight axle to showcase their fabrication skills. He went with a high-pinion Dana 60 axle with WFO Concepts crossover style steering linkage and the factory Silverado steering box with WFO mount plates for the factory brake rotors and calipers. He added EBC Brakes slotted rotors and Orangestuff pads for improved braking.

With their in-house powder coating, they coated the axle housing in a gloss black and went with a dark metallic grey for the links, Panhard bar and steering components. Seven-inch Slam Specialties air bags are teamed up with Bilstein 7100-series remote reservoir shocks up front for a smooth ride.

The rear features an 11.5-inch AAM axle from the Silverado. The leaf springs were removed and replaced with a set of 7-inch Slam Specializes air bags located between the frame and axle housing and a four-link design. The rear also has a set of Bilstein 7100-series remote reservoir shocks with a custom cross member for the upper mounts. The links arms were fabricated from 1.875-inch, .180 wall DOM steel tubing with 2.625 forged chromoly joints on each end. The rear also features matching powder coating, EBC slotted rotors, and Orangestuff pads.

To place the cab on the new chassis, Ryan fabricated new cab mounts so the engine would clear the firewall and retain the core support and factory cooling fan. He replaced the original ribs under the bed with shorter ones to properly align the body and the cab.

Ryan loved the patina of the original paint, so he kept it the way it is. He did have a local body shop install new floor and rockers and installed a larger transmission tunnel to clear the new, larger transmission and transfer case.

Up next, they put together a mixture of factory and aftermarket parts to meet Ryan’s goal of 750 horsepower. The block and parts were sent off to Performance Motor Sports in Sandwich, Illinois for machine work and then were assembled by WCFab. They added a new factory LML crankshaft that swings around Mahle Cast pistons on Carrillo Billet Connecting rods with an ATI damper, a SoCal Diesel Performance alternate-fire camshaft, Merchant Automotive pushrods, and Hamilton Cams valve springs. The engine features ARP head and main studs and new bearings throughout. Replaced parts include the alternator, starter, water pump, oil cooler, oil pump, and power steering pump.

A set of LML manifolds carry exhaust gases to a Wehrli-fabricated 2-inch diameter stainless steel up-pipes. In the valley, they also fabricated a turbo pedestal that rotates the turbo 90 degrees. The Compound Turbo setup consists of Borg Warner S480 FMW atmosphere turbo mounted on the passenger side of the engine, feeding into a Borg Warner S366. The Intake System includes a custom 5” intake system with an aFe Pro DryS cone filter, a GM factory intercooler, and WCFab 3” High flow Y-Bridge and intercooler pipes. Missing no details, they powder coated all the intercooler pipes and turbo compressor housings black with a gold flake clear coat.

In the AC compressor location sits a single stroker 10mm Exergy CP3 pump spun by a WCFab machined billet pulley. The stock CP3 location houses a WCFab block off plate. 60% over Exergy fuel injectors and EFILive tuning by Calibrated Power Solutions help to produce 753 horsepower and 1,390 lb-ft of torque measured on Calibrated Power’s dyno. Ryan decided to use the Allison transmission from the 2006 Silverado. They did a performance rebuild on the transmission in house at WCFab with a SunCoast Converter and upgraded clutches, pump, and valve body to handle the added power.

On the inside, Ryan installed sound deadening on the firewall and cab floor along with a new carpet kit and seats from the Silverado. It includes a set of custom AutoMeter gauges including a GPS speedometer for ease of use on the later model drivetrain, a low rev tach with AutoMeter’s diesel tach adapter, a full sweep oil pressure gauge, and short sweep fuel level, volts, and water temperature gauges.

Today, Ryan daily drives the truck throughout the summer and uses it to pull the company pull truck to local truck pulls.

1970 Chevrolet C10

  • Dana 60 front axle with WFO Concepts crossover style steering linkage and factory Silverado steering box with WFO mount plates
  • EBC Brakes slotted rotors and Orangestuff pads
  • 11.5-inch AAM rear axle from 2006 Silverado
  • 7-inch Slam Specialties rear air bags
  • Bilstein 7100-series remote reservoir shocks throughout
  • Factory LML crankshaft, Mahle Pistons, Carrillo Billet Rods, ATI damper
  • SoCal Diesel Performance alternate-fire camshaft
  • Merchant Automotive pushrods
  • Hamilton Cams valve springs
  • ARP head and main studs
  • Borg Warner S480 and S366 Compound Turbo’s
  • WCFab High flow intercooler plumbing and Y-Bridge
  • Exergy Performance 10mm Stroker CP3
  • Exergy Performance 60% over Injectors
  • EFILive tuning by Calibrated Power Solutions
  • WCFab Built Allison Transmission
  • Billet Flexplate
  • SunCoast triple disc billet torque convertor
  • Custom driveshafts
  • Custom AutoMeter gauges